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Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers players brawled at the end of their Game 5 Eastern Conference final matchup on Thursday night.
The Lightning capped off a 3-1 win with a Brandon Hagel empty-net goal. Once the final buzzer sounded, Lightning veteran Steven Stamkos and Rangers youngster Alexis Lafrenière were trading punches and took their fight down to the ice. Three other groups of players were also squaring off.
The skirmish lasted for about a minute or so before the players were sent off the ice and back into the locker rooms.
The Lightning were going home happy, now up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series and the Rangers will have to dig deep and try to persevere to force a Game 7.
Mikhail Sergachev played the hero for the Lightning in the game. The Tampa Bay defender scored the equalizer in the second period at the 17:34 mark in the game. In the third period, Sergachev would be credited with a goal through traffic to put the Lightning up 2-1.
Sergachev’s goals were the first two of the playoffs. He has eight playoff goals in his career.
The Rangers got on the board first thanks to an unassisted goal from Ryan Lindgren on an incredible angle, but it was all the scoring New York could muster on goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa Bay has an 8-2 record when leading 3-2 in a best-of-7 series.
A win for the Lightning means they will face the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final. A win for the Rangers means Game 7 is back in New York City.